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UFC 186 fight card primer: Demetrious Johnson vs. Kyoji Horiguchi

Bloody Elbow presents a preview of UFC 186: Johnson vs. Horiguchi in our fight card primer series. Here we look at the main event: Demetrious Johnson vs. Kyoji Horiguchi for the UFC Flyweight championship.

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

In the main event at UFC 186: Johnson vs. Horiguchi, UFC Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (21-2-1 MMA; 9-1-1 UFC) defends his title against challenger Kyoji Horiguchi (15-1 MMA; 4-1 UFC). This five round Flyweight title fight caps off the five fight UFC 186 main card. The UFC Rankings have Horiguchi as the #7 contender at 125 pounds, with champion Johnson at #3 on the Pound for Pound list. UFC 186: Johnson vs. Horiguchi airs live from Montreal this Saturday, April 25. The main card airs on PPV with a fight time of 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT, with the prelims starting at  8:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1 and 6:30 p.m. ET on Fight Pass.

Demetrious Johnson is the obvious A side in this fight. The champion looks to make his 6th title defense here - only Jose Aldo, GSP, Jon Jones, Matt Hughes, and Anderson Silva have more defenses. Johnson is a fighting champion who likes to get in the cage as much as possible. This marks his 4th fight since the last time we even saw UFC Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez in the Octagon. That's awesome, but it does make for some slightly rushed challengers, which is what we are seeing here.

How do these two stack up?

Johnson: 28 years old | 5'3" | 64" reach
Horiguchi: 24 years old | 5'5" | 66" reach

What have these two done recently?

Johnson: W - Chris Cariaso (sub) | W - Ali Bagautinov (UD) | W - Joseph Benavidez (KO)
Horiguchi: W - Louis Gaudinot (UD) | W - Jon Delos Reyes (TKO) | W - Darrell Montague (UD)

How did these two get here?

Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson gets to this fight as arguably the most complete fighter in MMA today. Since making the move to Flyweight, he is undefeated, looking better and better every fight. With the great Matt Hume in his corner, Johnson has combined his physical tools with great game planning and tremendous work ethic to become one of the sport's very best. And he shows absolutely no signs of stopping. It's a shame he still is largely overlooked by the general public, but with a more aggressive side shown in some of his recent fights and another opponent primed for a stoppage win here, perhaps he can turn that around.

Horiguchi is undefeated in the UFC and a former Shooto champion, but let's be real - he gets this fight because Johnson has already beaten virtually everyone above him. The only men ranked above Horiguchi who the champ has not yet defeated are John Lineker (who has reportedly been banished to Bantamweight) and Jussier Formiga (who is likely next for Johnson should he win his May 30 fight with Wilson Reis). That left Horiguchi to get the call here. Horiguchi is a solid fighter and part of the new generation of Japanese fighters. He has trained primarily under Japanese MMA legend Kid Yamamoto at the Krazy Bee gym, and brings some of Kid's explosiveness and striking to the cage.

Why should you care?

One of the undisputed best fighters on the planet is competing. Johnson is a guy you need to watch.